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Full text of "The Red Cross and the war"

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Library 

OF THE 

University of NortK Carolina 

This book was presented by the family 
of the late 

KEMP PLUMMER BATTLE, '49 

President of the University of North Carolina 
from 1876 to 1890 



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THE RED CROSS AND THE WAR 

JUDGE ROBERT W. WINSTON 

AT 

ST. MARY'S SCHOOL 

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA 



MAY 19, 1918 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil 



http://archive.org/details/redcrosswarOOwins 



THE RED CROSS AND THE WAR 

WHEN little Paul Dombey lay dying, he turned 
his big, wistful eyes toward Mr. Dombey 
and asked, "What is money, papa?" 

"Why, money, money," gasped the startled Dom- 
bey, "money can do anything, Paul!" 

How mistaken he was! And how mistaken are 
all people who think that money can do everything 
in this war. Money can purchase guns and shot and 
shell. It can supply food and clothing. But money 
cannot minister to the wounded. It cannot sooth 
the fevered brow. This is the work of a woman's 
hand, and this is the office of a trained nurse and of 
Red Cross workers. Our Government is supplying 
funds, and more funds, to build ships and equip 
armies and navies; but as to our dear wounded 
boys in the hospitals of France, they must hear the 
sound of a woman's voice, feel the touch of a 
woman's hand and the soothing influence of her 
presence. It is this that comforts our sons in 
France; it is this that sustains us at home. 

For these reasons the Red Cross Society of Amer- 
ica is a personal and voluntary organization. Born, 
on the bloody fields of Solferino, to mitigate the 
horrors of war, it makes a direct appeal for support 






to the hearts and conscience of our people. It re- 
ceives no assistance from the United States Govern- 
ment. To work with it and for it is both an honor 
and a stimulant. Its president is Woodrow Wilson. 
The War Department audits its accounts, and it has 
twenty-two million members. It has no salaried 
officers, and every dollar which is given to it counts, 
for there is neither extravagance nor wastage. Up 
to this date it has received nearly a hundred million 
of dollars and it has accounted for every penny of 
the same. It is now proposed that we raise one hun- 
dred million more, and the amount assigned to 
Raleigh and to Wake County, of which your school 
is a chapter, is $35,000. 

When the Italian lines broke under the furious 
onslaught of the Germans and Austrians last win- 
ter, it was the Red Cross workers, behind the lines, 
that heartened the fleeing soldiers, fed the hungry, 
cared for the wounded, and saved the day to civili- 
zation; and it is now the American Red Cross So- 
ciety in France which provides for the family of the 
French soldier and nerves him to stick, stick, stick 
to the end. Up to March 1st nearly fifty millions 
had been spent among our allies. 

I see before me now 250 young women. Last 
week, and the week before, I saw 300 of the finest 
boys on the globe leave our midst for the battle- 
fields of France. They are the very young men who 

2 



are most interested in you. In God's own way it is 
these boys, and such as they, who shall share your 
future life with you. Every one of them is a hero. 
Marcus Curtius, Arnold Winkelried, Horatius at the 
Bridge, what have these heroes of song and of story 
on our boys? Nothing. Christ died to save men 
from hell and perdition. These young men will die, 
if need be, to save you young women from worse 
than hell. True, they are fighting for their country 
and are every inch patriots; but, after all, dear 
young women, it is for you, and you, and you, that 
they fight. Behind every bayonet, as it flashes in 
the sunshine of France and buries itself in the 
bowels of some savage German, is the stimulating 
memory of you, the girl he left behind. And the 
honor and glory of being thought worthy of you — 
the thought that you love and honor him — will 
nerve and sustain him to the end. But one flutter of 
your handkerchief, and he will storm the ramparts 
of hell. Let us suppose that ten years ago it had 
been known in Raleigh that one young man — just 
one — had volunteered to save you and me from 
direful calamity — to die for us — what crowds 
would have gathered to greet him! What a hero 
and a martyr he would have been ! How we would 
have shed tears as we gazed upon him, and how our 
bosoms would have swelled with emotion as we did 
him honor! Yea, how we would have begged a hair 

3 



of him for memory! And what have we now? 
Thousands and tens of thousands of young men 
coming forward to the conflict with a serenity and a 
high-hearted gaiety, the only rivalry being who first ■ 
shall be privileged to die for his country; the only 
disappointment, to be held back from the firing line. 

I know that you honor and love these gallant 
boys. They at the front, and you at home, keeping 
the fires burning on the altars, will, under God, 
redeem the world from tyranny. And how supreme 
must be your contempt for the dastard in war — that 
cowardly fellow who gets himself exempt from 
service. When the Greeks had been defeated by 
the Asiatics, and Xenophon had called a council of 
the braves, one fellow, Apollonides by name, arose 
and counseled surrender. Then spake brave Aga- 
sias: "This fellow is no Greek; he is an Asiatic. 
See! He has both his ears bored!" 

I charge you, young women, to join the Red Cross 
Society, to co-operate with the Y. M. C. A. work, to 
be one of the glorious canteen girls and of the 
Woman's Council of National Defense, and some of 
you to serve humanity as trained nurses on the bat- 
tlefields of France. 

Once upon a time, Dean Corwin made an appeal 
to a great London audience for the little orphans 
under his charge. The appeal touched every heart. 
Women gave all their money and threw their jewels 

4 



and ornaments into the cause. I do not ask you to 
do this — though, what a cause is ours — just give all 
the money you have, and save your jewels! 

This war is a mirror in which each one sees his 
own image reflected. To the man of faith the finger 
of God is seen in the burnished rows of steel; to the 
doubter the end of all things is at hand. To Wini- 
fred Kirkland there is a "new death" born of the 
war. To her the old death was but a barrier; the 
new death is a bond. The old death hid away our 
loved ones from conversation; the new death min- 
gles their presence with our daily tasks. Today 
brave grief is a sign of the soul's health. 

But let's away with thoughts like these; they are 
not for your fresh and youthful souls. The rather 
let us fix our gaze with the steadfast eye of faith 
upon the day of our final triumph, as triumph we 
will; for ultimate truth has always triumphed, even 
as the river flows into the sea. The democracies of 
the world must justify their right to exist, and they 
will. 

The women of America are doing their part, as 
women have always done, from the day of Martha 
and Mary to the midnight death of Edith Cavell at 
the cowardly hands of a people obsessed by the idea 
of their own greatness and engulfed in the welter 
of a paranoiac kultur. 



UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 




00032773142 



This book may be kept out one month unless a recall 
notice is sent to you. It must be brought to the North 
Carolina Collection (in Wilson Library) for renewal.